The Green Bay Packers could be missing a few notable pieces on both sides of the ball when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town in Week 4.
In their official injury report for the matchup, the Packers listed four starters — Krys Barnes, Elgton Jenkins, Kevin King and Marquez Valdes-Scantling — as non-participants in Wednesday’s first practice of Week 4 with head coach Matt LaFleur later providing more details on some of their injuries.
“I would say it’s going to take the entire course of the week to determine whether or not he’ll be available,” LaFleur said, adding that Valdes-Scantling is “in the same boat.”
Jenkins is still recovering from an ankle injury he sustained in Week 2’s win over Detroit that also kept him sidelined during all of last week. The third-year Pro Bowler had been filling in for the injured David Bakhtiari at left tackle through the Packers’ first two games of the 2021 season and remains one of the most valuable and versatile pieces of their offensive line. If he is unable to play against the Steelers, it would only be the second missed game of his career.
Valdes-Scantling, on the other hand, pulled up lame after a play late in the fourth quarter of Week 3’s win over San Francisco and was quickly designated with a hamstring injury, staying on the sideline for the remaining 7:41 in the game. LaFleur told reporters the next day the fourth-year wideout would be undergoing further scans to determine the severity of his injury, but added that “anytime you’re dealing with a soft-tissue injury, you want to be cautious with that because you don’t want it to turn into a long-term deal.”
The Packers also added running back Aaron Jones to the injury report with a new ankle issue, but he still participated in the first Week 4 practice in a limited capacity. Otherwise, the only other injury-designated players for the Packers were center Josh Myers with a finger injury that he has been dealing with since Week 2 and backup safety Vernon Scott, who missed the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury.
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King’s ‘Illness’ Determined to be Concussion
King’s situation is a bit of an unusual one for the Packers. The veteran cornerback, who had mostly played Week 2 in the slot after being the starter outside in the season opener, was surprisingly ruled out hours before the Packers faced off with the 49ers with an illness unrelated to COVID (as the team would have needed to designate it as such).
Turns out, King was more than just under the weather — though, LaFleur didn’t have a direct explanation for when he became concussed.
“I really don’t,” LaFleur explained on September 29. “All I know is he came to us on Sunday and he wasn’t feeling well. And obviously, we’re on the road and had our doctors look at him when we were there. And then back on Monday, they did further evaluations and that’s when they determined (he was concussed) and put him in the protocols.”